Atelier Brussels – where I spent two blissful summers. Demonstration.

After speaking with a good friend this weekend, I was reminded of two blissful summers I experienced painting in the countryside close to Brussels.      I have decided to use a sketch from one of the sketchbooks made during that period for today’s demo.

From one of my many sketchbooks during that period.    From the atelier at Chemin du Gros.20200329_104802Which reminds me to remind you of the importance of always carrying a sketchbook….including now. 

For the most part (not always) my sketchbooks are small, especially when doing a lot of travelling.   I filled about eight sketchbooks during this period and completed many large oils and watercolours.

20200330_102930In this instance, I am working off a colour ground (using some cadmium orange and Naples yellow). You can use the left over paint on your palette each day to ground new pieces of paper.      Preparation was one of my recent tips to survive the isolation:)     

I am using a mix of watercolour and gouache.    I have roughly sketched out the trees using aTombow pen.20200329_104809I am now adding some strong colour into the negative space (between the trees) using a mix of burnt Sienna and Prussian blue watercolour.   (I don’t use black when using watercolour)

With a knife I am scraping out some colour to express branches…this must be done while the paint is still wet. 20200329_105714More negative space work – using a leaf green for the lighter areas…and continuing to scrape out with a knife. 20200329_110227Here I begin to indicate the colour in the cushions which are on the sofa in the atelier. 20200329_110935Making sure to bring colour from the cushions up into the trees.   Remember everything is interconnected…..Understanding this principle brings a sense of harmony to a painting and life in general…..20200329_111730Added to the bliss of being in a wonderful studio surrounded by nature…was the fact that I was looking after three beautiful Jack Russells and one lovely cat called Iccle.    When I was on the phone this weekend with my friend, who is now in France, I heard Iccle (now very old) meowing in the background…..:)

I decided to add one of the Jacks…Spuggy to this little sketch. 20200330_101552My suggestion is to look at your sketchbooks and find images that you might want to use as a ‘jumping off point’ during this period.

If you don’t have any sketchbooks – then now is the time to start.   Look around your home.   Look out of the windows.   If you are living with someone or animals, you have built in models.     When it gets warm again…sit in the garden if you are fortunate enough to have one. —–-So may opportunities to fill sketchbooks. 

See this period as an opportunity to explore.    As my dear childhood friend Gail said to me recently …let’s think of this situation as an adventure……..


A reminder that on the 15th April I will begin replicating a week’s course at the School in Olhao Portugal.

Have fun.    A bientot






15 thoughts on “Atelier Brussels – where I spent two blissful summers. Demonstration.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      That’s a good idea…This is a fantastic opportunity to make a sketch book part of your daily routine. I love nothing more than to pick a sketch book at random and read my notes and look at the sketches. By the way notes are an important part of my sketch books. Janet.

  1. Jet Eliot

    I really enjoyed this demonstration, Janet. For those of us who do not paint, it is truly fascinating to witness the process you described above. And your suggestions for creating art are a lovely reminder and inspiration for anyone. I find the last painting of the adventurous hummingbird especially enchanting. Cheers to you, my friend.

  2. Susan P Stafford

    Thank you Janet…….I so much enjoyed and learned from your process of the painting below. I will look forward to your next post, so informative.


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